According to a recent article on CNN, when North Carolina law enforcement officials pulled over a man in his late 40’s for suspected drunk driving, his blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.2 percent, which is nearly two and a half times over the state legal limit. But when the man told the police and doctors who administered the test that he hadn’t consumed any alcohol prior to the arrest, they didn’t believe him.

However, Richmond University Medical Center (NY) researchers found that the man had auto-brewery system (ABS), which is also known as gut fermentation syndrome. This rarely diagnosed condition means that there was yeast in his gastrointestinal tract that converted carbohydrates found in the food he ate into alcohol, so his body basically brewed beer.

The researchers said despite not having any alcohol in their system, patients still experience the same symptoms of intoxication, such as the smell of alcohol on their breath, fatigue, and gait changes. The North Carolina man obtained this condition by treating a thumb injury with antibiotics, which changed the microbiome in his gut, allowing fungi to grow.

Weeks after he was given special supplements and told to avoid carbohydrates in his diet, his symptoms began to appear once again. Fortunately, the researchers then gave him probiotics and used antifungal therapies to normalize his gut bacteria, thus resuming his previous eating habits.

In recent years, there have been several similar cases. For example, a New York woman had a DWI dismissed after presenting the condition as evidence in court.

Early signs of this condition include:

  • Brain fog
  • Delirium
  • Mood swings
  • Alcohol inebriation systems

If you have been arrested for a DWI without consuming any alcohol prior to the incident, it is possible you may have this condition. Upon diagnosis from your doctor, provide your criminal defense attorney with your medical records to show the court that gut fermentation syndrome caused your BAC level to increase despite not having a sip of alcohol.
Arrested for DWI in Charlotte? Contact Pinnacle Law today at 704-625-0691 and request a free consultation.